A 69-year-old Los Angeles father was charged with murdering his son because the son is gay. Shehada Khalil Issa allegedly murdered his son, Amir Issa, on Tuesday, then called the police. Officials made the gruesome discovery of the son’s body in the backyard of the North Hills suburban home, as well as the mother’s dead body in the bathroom.
Prosecutors released the following statement.
“The murder was committed because of the victim’s sexual orientation and because of the defendant’s perception of that status and the victim’s association with a person and a group of that status.”
Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws, there are still those who have strong anti-gay sentiments. Among them are some parents of LGBTQ individuals. However, most don’t resort to maiming or killing their children.
According to Sgt. Greg Bruce of the LAPD, the elder Issa admitted to shooting Amir Issa, 38, who was found with gunshot wounds to the face and to the abdomen, per the L.A. Times. Authorities had been called to the home on more than one occasion due to conflicts between Amir and his father. The son had a history of drug abuse and violence. He lived in an apartment in back of the family home, and the parents were trying to sell the home and evict their son.
— Barbara (@623Sis) April 2, 2016
Although law enforcement is, seemingly, confident of the Shehada Issa’s motivation surrounding the killing of his son, not much information has been released on Shabihah Issa, wife of Shehada and mother of Amir. When her body was found, detectives could not immediately determine the cause of death due to the amount of blood at the scene; they were confident that there had been some type of “foul play.”
The Daily News reported that Issa said he didn’t kill Shabihah, 68, but found her in their bathroom already dead. Issa said he armed himself after finding his wife, then encountered the son. Reportedly, the father said Amir Issa threatened him with a knife, which led to the fatal shooting. No weapon was found at the home.
What is clear is that there was ongoing conflict in the Issa household. Sgt. Bruce stated that his detectives were trying to get Amir removed from the home. Bruce also stated that Amir had damaged the house, and his parents had to pay to have it fixed. The sergeant further stated that he wasn’t aware of any issues surrounding the son’s sexual orientation, and was shocked to learn of the alleged murder.
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) April 2, 2016
Fred Gonzalez Jr., a neighbor, was visiting his parents when he heard what sounded like two gunshots around 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning. He investigated and found the man he called “Joe” (Shehada Issa) with a cell phone to his ear calling the police. He said Issa did not seem upset, and said, “Everything is fine now.” In the past, Gonzalez said she often spoke with “Joe” about the son’s erratic behavior, which the father said was caused by drug use, the L.A. Times also reported.
“Drugs can mess up your life. My son had a great life, and then he did drugs and it all went away.”
Shehada Issa, the father charged in the case, remains in custody pending $2 million bail. The investigation into the mother’s death is ongoing, and at press time, nothing more has been reported in this horrible family tragedy.
[Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images]